Jessica Maffia
New York, NY
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Jessica Maffia

Jessica M.

New York, NY
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This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Would you like to learn to draw the world around you? Look no further! I am a professional, exhibiting visual artist and drawing is my passion! I have a Masters in Education and have been teaching for over 10 years. I have experience with adults and children alike and absolute beginners are welcome. I will design a personalized curriculum to fit your needs. I will show you how to train your hand to work with your eyes, how to draw light and shadow, perspective, contours, how to use your materials, and much much more!

About Jessica M.

I am a visual artist who has been exhibiting my artwork across the US since 2009 and teaching since 2006. I got my BA from Vassar College, and a Masters in Education through the NYC Teaching Fellows program. I am deeply passionate about drawing and love to share this passion with others. I believe that art isn't for the talented few but for the passionate many and what counts most of all is that you're having fun!

My drawings tend to celebrate the beautiful and surprising in the mundane. I have worked in a variety of media but my preferred material is good old-fashioned pencil on paper. I have had solo and group exhibitions, my work has been published in print and online, one of my drawings is on the cover of a philosophy book, I have exhibited at several art fairs, and I have won many fellowships, grants, and artist residencies.

Our drawing lessons will begin with learning to use the most basic materials: charcoal, erasers, pencil and paper. We will spend a lot of time learning the art of looking because above all, drawing is about observation and translating what you see.
You will begin to notice improvements in your skills after the first class!

I look forward to drawing with you.


Write a Review
21 Reviews
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Jessica is amazing my daughter is taking drawing lessons and absolutely loves her. Jessica is so kind and patient and is amazing with kids. She takes her time explains everything and makes learning to draw fun. I would definitely recommend her to anyone from beginning to advanced.

Posted Mar 18, 2021
Profile-location-home Student's Home

My kids loved her i loved her - whats not to love - she was only meant to have my oldest but my youngest also joined and a friend of theirs - Jessica was super accommodating and now has a super fan in my youngest who sat for two hours without getting bored - Thanks Jessica

Posted Mar 9, 2020
Kinsley E.
Profile-location-online Online

She was lovely. The internet was a little tricky but I think we got it figured out towards the end. Excited for the next one!

Posted Jan 16, 2020
Rainy T.
Profile-location-online Online

My 6 year old daughter really enjoyed her online drawing lesson with Jessica. The lesson was well-structured and thought through. The materials Jessica picked were diverse and informative. I was amazed how Jessica made the online lesson seem as if she was right here in our house. I asked my daughter how many more lessons should I set up for her and she answered: many, many more! I strongly recommend Jessica to any student learning graphite drawing!

Posted Aug 24, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

Both of my children take class with Jessica. She keeps the lesson fun and really encourages both of my children. She is very talented and knows how to reach young artists to help inspire them. I highly recommend her as an instructor. This was our third class with her and we have every intention to continue taking lessons with her.

Posted May 14, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Jessica is really a great teacher and a nice person! She helps me from a completely beginner to finish a detailed pencil sketch portrait in 15hrs. Definitely recommended.

Posted Apr 17, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Jessica is patient and encouraging. I have enjoyed every class. I leave classes feeling inspired and looking forward to the following week. Jessica really is a fantastic teacher and artist.

Posted Apr 10, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I am an adult student (33) taking beginner drawing lessons with Jessica. My interest/goal is to draw realistic portraits (maybe in a few years), but with no background, I'd better start from the basics, and I am so glad to have Jessica as my teacher. Her philosophy about how to approach art alone is already teaching me so much - for example, what's the correct mindset, how to really observe a subject, how to practice drawing even when I am not drawing.

We have been working on building up foundational skills and their sequence, which gives me clear understanding on what each small step means in the long term. Based on my interest and what I knew and didn’t know, Jessica would design each lesson with a specific focus in mind, usually around practicing a certain technique. Her homework (I ask for homework since I draw slowly) also reinforces those learnings. I feel more confident with each lesson, and my progress is noticeable.

Also, she is incredibly encouraging, patient, and generous. I never feel judged or self-conscious practicing techniques in front of her (often clumsily) or showing her my new drawings. She always gives thorough feedback and encouraging words. Overall, she gives me confidence on my journey, and that is much needed for an adult student who didn’t have the chance to start when younger. Best teacher ever!

Posted Apr 9, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

Jessica is a great teacher. She has spent much time with me, teaching and helping me complete my art portfolio. I highly recommend Jessica if you want to improve your drawing skills!!

Posted Nov 29, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I’m enjoying Jessica’s lessons so much. I began to draw much more often and this is the first time I’m not afraid to show my pictures to people. She always make safe atmosphere for your creativity. I’m really happy to draw now and all thanks for Jessica.

Posted Nov 12, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Jessica is simply outstanding!!! She got right to the heart of what my children needed to work on to improve their drawing, and she was able to work with a range of abilities, attention spans, etc. Within minutes she was able to draw out the tentative artist in each of her three young students (ages 9-11), and you could see the difference in confidence in just one lesson!! She is smart, fun, flexible--you really could not find a better instructor!!!

Posted Oct 20, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Jessica is a GREAT drawing teacher! My two daughters aged 7 and 9 have been having lessons with Jessica for a couple of months and she has done such an excellent job of catering to their very different personalities and preferred learning styles. She is so patient and calm. She has taught them various techniques, including how to work with charcoal, and they have both improved so much in such a short time. My kids really look forward to their lesson every time, and carry on with their projects when the lesson is over. I highly recommend her!

Posted Apr 18, 2018

Jessica is great with children if all ages! Very nice, patient personality! We had a lesson at our home for our three children ages 5, 8, 10. She did a wonderful job teaching all three at different skill set levels . Highly recommend.

Posted Apr 16, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Our daughter has just started taking drawing lessons with Jessica and has made real progress. She has enjoyed her time with Jessica and I would recommend her to any and all budding artists.

Posted Mar 1, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Jessica was an excellent teacher with my 9 year old son. It is quite clear she has experience working with children - she is patient, calming and supportive. He can't wait for his next lesson!

Posted Oct 10, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I have always loved to draw as a hobby, but could never get the hang of it. I found Jessica on Craigslist and she taught me how to hold a pencil properly to create the depth to my drawings I've always dreamed about! I highly recommend Jessica and can't wait till my next lesson with her! Thanks again!

Posted Sep 5, 2017

Jessica is worldclass, and without parallell! When my 2nd Grade Sons teacher reccomended I enroll him in supplememtal art classes it took a few tries before we found a good fit, and 5 minutes in Jessica fit like an old shoe. Shes absolutely brilliant at keeping him motivated and focused and entertained, and I am so proud of how much progress he's made in such a short period of time. If I could give her 25 stars I would because 5 just doesn't do her justice.

Posted Sep 4, 2017
Dana R.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

I've been Jessica's art student for more than a year and I'm still fascinated how much I have learned so far. I already make beautiful, colorful drawings on my own, some of which I could even sell! I love her energy and mastery of teaching and doing art, but most of all her passion. I love the experience and I'm planning to keep on growing as artist myself with Jessica's guidance.

Posted Sep 4, 2017
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Jessica Maffia is not only a profoundly gifted and skilled professionally trained artist, but she is also a highly intuitive instructor. Jessica will happily meet you exactly where you are in your craft and inspire you to really improve, learn and grow in your drawing. Jessica's decade plus experience as an artist and teacher makes her a perfect instructor for those wanting to take their drawing practice more seriously and begin to master all the elements of this fine art. I have not had a more talented and inspiring instructor; Jessica evinces so much creative passion and artistic integrity that it becomes contagious. I am much better for having worked with her.

Posted Sep 4, 2017
Profile-location-home Student's Home

I have always felt like I had a creative impulse I needed to express, but felt like I needed some solidified skills to be able to begin. I felt nervous about starting to learn something new at my age, but from the first conversation I had with Jessica, I knew I would feel absolutely at ease learning with her. Jessica is both an experienced educator and a truly inspired artist. One of the first things she taught me was how to look at the world around me differently and in a more open way that allowed me to translate that to paper. It was exhilarating. Jessica is absolutely lovely, knowledgeable and provides tangible instructions that are showing their effect on paper! I am so thrilled with the work I am creating with her continued instruction. I cannot more highly reccommend studying with Jessica!

Posted Sep 4, 2017
Veronica Papavero
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Dec 7, 2019

Photos & Videos

10 Photos & Videos


Teaching Artist
May 2018 - Present

Center for Educational Innovation

Teaching Artist
Sep 2009 - Aug 2018


Teaching Artist
Sep 2011 - May 2018

Urban Arts Partnership


Mar 2008 - Jun 2012

The Art Students League of New York

Masters in Education
Sep 2006 - Dec 2009

New York City Teaching Fellows at City College of New York

BA Sociology and Latin American Studies
Sep 2001 - May 2005

Vassar College

High School
Sep 1997 - Jun 2001

Hunter College High School



Professional Proficiency


Artist in Residence
Aug 2018

NYC Audubon

Sep 2017

Lacawac Artist residency

Jun 2017


Feb 2017

Puffin Foundation

Sep 2016

Helene Wurlitzer Foundation

Jun 2016

Hells Kitchen Foundation

Sep 2015

Vermont Studio Center

Feb 2015

New York Mills Art Retreat

Nov 2014

Brush Creek Artist Residency

Jun 2014

Byrdcliffe Art Colony

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